My mom, Mrs. Robinson, was a language arts teacher at the same junior high school that I attended. Her classroom was next door to another English teacher also named Mrs. Robinson. They were both in the seventh grade hall, not far from the front office. I didn’t have my own mom for my English teacher. I had the other Mrs. Robinson, who was very nice and I enjoyed her class. I can still remember her voice and face from the days she patiently taught an unteachable kid like me.
Though I was glad I didn’t have my own mom for a teacher, there was one week a year that I wished I was in her class. It was one of my favorite times in junior high, when my cat Poppy got to go to school with me.
Each year my mom’s class read “The Incredible Journey,” a story about three animal friends traveling across Canada together, surviving against all odds, to get back to their family. One of the animals was a Siamese cat (the other two were dogs, a Labrador and a Terrier) and since my kitty happened to be a Siamese, and quite a lovely sweet docile one at that, he got to spend the day in my mom’s classroom so her students could experience a Siamese firsthand.
At lunch and every break, of course I was in her classroom so I could visit my kitty. He was happy to see me too, since it was all a little discombobulating for him to start the day with a [hated] car ride then spend the day in a crate with a bunch of noisy middle schoolers messing with him.
Those special days were a highlight for me. How many kids get to take their favorite pet to school with them? But then it would end and I’d go back to my regular routine, back in the other Mrs. Robinson’s room. Which was okay really. I liked her a lot. She had a daughter whose name was also Cheri Ann, though she was about ten years younger than I was. We went to the same pediatrician and more than once they got our charts mixed up on my doctor visits and had to straighten out which one actually belonged to me. Students from the school also got us mixed up sometimes, wondering which Mrs. Robinson was my mom. We’d be talking and they’d learn that my mom was one of the English teachers named Mrs. Robinson. They’d say, “Really? Wow. Which one is your mom?”
Clearly, they’d not met both of them yet when they asked me that.
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